My heart was pounding and my lungs were burning, but I clenched my teeth and started doing burpees. “Keep on going!” cried Felix, the culprit and the mastermind behind this ridiculously intense circuit session. He made me work so hard it felt like I was training for the Olympics.
Then again, Julian Felix, to give his full name, is no stranger to the global athletic scene, having been a Commonwealth gold medalist in bodybuilding and Caribbean middleweight champion. He is also the main personal trainer for BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia, a renowned 155-key wellness center near the capital Castries at the tip of the island where killers train. and relaxing spa treatments abound.
My 30 minute physical workout was included in my package, but what really appealed to me was the ability to work out with the cream of the crop. And thanks to Felix, I learned, among other things, to improve my endurance to play social netball. It was totally worth it, despite the pain.
Elite connections don’t stop at Felix, as throughout the year BodyHoliday welcomes star athletes and Olympians who lead fitness sessions. The training included swimmer Jazz Carlin, who won the double silver medal at Rio 2016, and sprinter Donna Fraser, a competitor at four Olympic Games.
A daily schedule of (socially distanced) activities means guests are always spoiled for choice, so if guests don’t feel like working out with the stars, they can opt for morning walks, from yoga to sunrise, body stretching lessons, aqua-fit, wakeboarding lessons, open water swimming, beach volleyball … and all the rest of a list that totals more than 50 activities on earth and the water. The icing on the cake? they are everything is included, so guests can do as much or as little as they want.
While BodyHoliday offers plenty of ways to get around, it also offers plenty of ways to collapse – on the pristine sandy beach (where masked staff are always happy to help with lounge chairs and towels), on the shore of the two outdoor swimming pools or at the Wellness Center, which houses 33 treatment rooms.
Daily complimentary spa treatments will have been incorporated into clients’ bespoke itineraries and I was delighted with the variety of treatments when I received my personalized schedule. It included an aloe vera body wrap, Balinese massage, and hydrating facial, all of which made me feel relaxed, buoyant, and worry-free. With over 170 treatments to choose from, there is certainly enough to help relieve many ailments or health issues.
As part of the Covid security measures, during treatments, therapists wear masks and gloves (although you cannot tell) and the rooms are disinfected between appointments. The resort has social distancing ground markings and sanitation points everywhere, while all staff are doubly vaccinated and BodyHoliday itself has been adopted as Covid-19 certified accommodation under the Government of Saint Lucia program. Daily temperature checks are part of the routine and clients returning to their home countries can also have free rapid antigen tests on site.
The resort is also a certified Covid-19 accommodation provider.
Andrew Barnard, Deputy Managing Director of BodyHoliday, said: “The implementation of security measures for Covid was integral here. We volunteered with the government of Saint Lucia to develop the Covid protocols for spas in the area, so we spent a lot of time figuring out exactly what to do, which disinfectant to use between treatments, how we deal with it. the cribs, how we deal with the body to body contact, the general hygiene in the room – all of those things.
“So we wrote these protocols and they became the national protocols across Saint Lucia and, very, were quickly adopted at the regional level.”
The wellness center itself exudes a tranquil feel unlike the rest of the resort, with a Mediterranean-style courtyard at its heart and an open entrance offering splendid views of swaying palms, fuchsia bougainvillea and the sea of Caribbean sparkling in the distance. Coming out after my fourth (or was it the fifth?) Spa treatment, I gazed out at the ocean and immersed myself in the sweet feeling of bliss.
Customers particularly concerned about the effects of the pandemic – whether physical or mental – can also choose from four additional new wellness programs, which BodyHoliday has built in response to the coronavirus. They are well-being Rehabilitation; Covid convalescence; Boost your immunity; and well-being in the workplace.